Big Island Extension’s Andrea Kawabata, Jen Burt, and Matthew Miyahira represented CTAHR at the 11th annual Kona Coffee Farmer’s Association Coffee and Small Farms Expo at the Old Kona Airport. They met with over 300 attendees, ranging from seasoned farmers to curious tourists, and discussed issues such as the coffee berry borer and root-knot nematode. The team displayed examples of healthy and damaged coffee beans and provided literature pertaining to other coffee pests and diseases. The Expo featured speeches from Dean Comerford, Scott Enright of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, and other industry leaders. Additionally, breakout sessions were held throughout the day, including coffee-related topics by Pacific Coffee Research, Andrea Kawabata, Agri-Logic Consulting, the USDA Farm Agency, and more. Andrea was also recently interviewed for an article in West Hawaii Today
about decreasing coffee yields in the Islands. She explained that some reasons for the decline may be decreased rainfall due to climate change, along with those very same pests, CBB and root-knot nematode. And that makes outreach events like this one all the more important!